What does it take to be successful in the modern print sales marketplace? The answer has to start with good, solid strategy, and that is what I am going to be presenting in my upcoming Australian one-day sales course.
I will help you to understand the best way to approach your most important sales challenges, from finding new customers to defending your old ones against any competition.
The programme will start with a conversation about value. I have done quite a bit of buyer-behavior research over the last couple of years, to identify what they perceive as value, and also what causes them pain. I think too many print salespeople focus on what they themselves view as value, for example, state-of-the-art equipment and a wide range of capabilities. It turns out that most print buyers could not care less, and what they do care about might surprise you.
From there, we will move on to discuss the printing sales cycle, which typically has five main stages; prospecting, quoting, the first few orders, the good times, and the downhill stage. I will explain how to drive this cycle, rather than just riding it. That involves prospecting, handling the early-stages obstacles and objections, and the critical element of navigating away from price. You will learn how to accelerate the process of developing new customers, and how to delay the downhill stage.
One of the key ways of accelerating the development of new customers is to follow up efficiently and effectively on leads and inquiries, and hopefully you are getting lots of those from your Internet presence. I think we have all learned that a lead can be a long way from a sale, though, so I have dedicated a full segment of this program to that specific challenge.
Next we will return to the topic of value, but from a different perspective. In this segment, I will explain how to get maximum value from every customer relationship. This is not about the value you bring to them, but rather about the value they have for you. We will be talking about protecting the value of what they are buying from you now, capturing the value of what they could be buying from you, and leveraging the value of influence, including testimonials and referrals.
If you have been reading my articles in Australian Printer over the years, you know that am all about practical, real-world strategy — but every once in a while, I like to talk about the theory behind it. I think you will enjoy the segment where I explain how some well-known scientific principles apply to the dynamics of printing sales. We will also delve into the mathematics of modern selling.
The final segment of our program will cover time management and organisation — making the time to put some of this new and improved strategy to work. Before we get there, though, I am going to tell you about The Printing Sales DNA Project. This is a research study I conducted recently across North America, to determine what skills, attitudes and personality traits best position a salesperson for success. This segment will provide you with a framework for self-evaluation, and possibly suggest some specific areas for self-improvement. You may not have the optimum printing sales DNA, but that does not mean that you cannot be enormously successful in the modern print sales marketplace.
If you attended one of my sales courses in 2014, or if you heard me speak on one of my other six previous visits to Australia, you will get a little bit of review in this program, plus a lot of new and updated material.
Two more things will be different about this year’s program. One is that each attendee will receive a recognised Certificate of Participation. That is a credit you can add to your business card and e-mail signature to reinforce your industry expertise. Each attendee will also receive a copy of Listen To The Dinosaur, my follow-up book to Sell More Printing. The leading publication for sales professionals in North America, has listed it as one of its 10 Best Books To Read.
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